HARRIS COUNTY – The election results from the March 1 election are being contested by one of the candidates for Constable, Jasen Rabalais.
Through his attorney Michael Stafford, Rabalais filed a civil cause on March 10th with the 164th District court. The defendents are the two candidates that received more votes in the election than Rabalais, Sherman Eagleton and Michel Pappillion.
There were nine candidates on the Democratic ballot, and they received the following vote tallies: Sherman Eagleton 3,687; Michel Pappillion 2,862; Jasen Rabalais 2,825; James Stewart 2,473; Isaac Villarreal 1,865; Eric Reed 1,649; David “Bubba” Jones 1,402; Ken Melancon 1,001; and William Norwood 790.
The defendents, when contacted by the Star-Courier, did not have an immediate statement on the suit. With only 37 votes separating Rabalais from Pappillion, it is possible that a ruling on the validity of absentee or mail ballots could result in the run-off election between Eagleton and Rabalais, instead of Pappillion. It is understood that this is the basis for Rabalais filing the court action.
Election watchers have said that the way votes were acquired, especially in the absentee voting category, may be questioned in court, with the attempt to change the total count.
A hearing has been scheduled for next Wednesday, March 23, in the 164th Civil Court. The presiding judge will be Judge Randy Clapp, from Wharton County, due to state law on elections.